Nerdist interviews Neil deGrasse Tyson (podcast), who offers the opinion (20:19, h/t Nous) that philosophy can “really mess you up”:
Still, he has one question for philosophers: “Why are you wasting your time?” Sigh. There’s no one like Neil deGrasse Tyson to demonstrate that philosophy needs its own Neil deGrasse Tyson.
Mug’s eye view: Tyson may have bitten off too big a piece here.
It’s one thing for Stephen Hawking to attack philosophers. Didn’t do him any good, but he is primarily a physicist, not primarily a science communicator. For his own sake, Tyson should remember that it is Carl Sagan’s desk he is known to have inherited, not Stephen Hawking’s.
The answer to his question as to why philosophers keep asking basic questions is that when things go badly wrong, it often starts at that level. One can certainly think of applications of that principle in Tyson’s own field of cosmology. See, for example, The Science Fictions series at your fingertips (cosmology).
See also: Problems with Tyson’s Cosmos ‘s series’ treatment of history.
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